State withholds money from ABC stores

Published 8:18 pm Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Local North Carolina ABC stores will be a little short this year as the state decided to withhold its usual allocations.

For Tryon, the state shortfall will mean about $2,000 less in revenues and Columbus should be about the same.

Tryon Town Manager Justin Hembree says the towns ABC board was aware of the states decision and budgeted accordingly this year.

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Hembree says Tryon will still receive all the money it should based on how much is sold at the Tryon store, but will not be receiving as much from the state level.

ABC reimbursements are done much like state sales tax reimbursements and the town receives some reimbursements based on what is sold at the store and other allocations are based on revenues sent to towns based on per capita from all North Carolina sales.

The cuts in revenue distribution for beer and wine tax are a result of state budget shortfalls and are coming the same year as the state increased excise tax rates. The state excise tax on beer was recently increased to 61.71 cents per gallon, which is up from 53.177 cents. Fortified wine excise tax increased to 29.34 cents from 24 cents.

The excise tax on spirituous liquor saw an increase of 30 percent of taxable sales of liquor sold in ABC stores, up from 25 percent.

Larger ABC stores in the area saw much larger cuts from the state, including Forest City, which will lose $21,000, Spindale at $14,000 and Rutherfordton at $13,000. Nearby Lake Lure is expected to lose $3,000, just over what Tryon’s and Columbus’ losses are expected to be.